Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Parse's Process

I'm a fan of audio books and fell under the trance Davina Porter's voice as she spun me through the story of Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz.

It's important for me to keep all sketches for individual projects in one place. When they don't all fit on a large sheet of paper, gathering them on a disk shape gives me a quick sense of what to pluck out of the lines.

I knew I wanted the boy to clutch his marionette. As I listened to the story I felt them an inseparable team-- even if one was an inanimate object. A cleaned up sketch told me more about the character of Parse and I thought of my little neighbor whose features and size were just right for the character. 

With a little coaxing my neighbor jumped into the role, suspenders and all. 

I used transparency paper to work out values. The advantage of good tracing paper (not the stuff that wrinkles while working) is that it's easy to erase and lines can be shifted as you go along.

I made more adjustments when transferring the image to canvas then scanned it to create a color study. I knew the scene was going to be dark, so the addition of cooler colors helped limit the danger of the characters disappearing into the background.

With the drawing on canvas, I referenced my value sketch to put down a first layer of water-miscible oil using Winsor & Newton olive green.

Here is the final painting of Parsefall clutching Clara.


  1. Great process ideas! Nothing like an audiobook to stir the senses!

  2. I've gotten completed addicted to them.